Biography

Dorothy Wall, Author and Writing Coach
Dorothy Wall, Author and Writing Consultant

Dorothy Wall, M.A., has been active in the Bay Area writing community for over 35 years as a writer, writing teacher and writing consultant. She is author of Identity Theory: New and Selected Poems, 1980-2010 (Blue Light Press, 2012) and Encounters with the Invisible: Unseen Illness, Controversy, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (Southern Methodist University Press, 2005), a blend of her experience of ME/CFS with a provocative investigation of the medical/cultural issues raised by an invisible, controversial illness. Winner of the 2007 Sand Castles Book of the Year Award from P.A.N.D.O.R.A., Encounters with the Invisible is now available in Spanish. Ms. Wall is also coauthor of Finding Your Writer's Voice: A Guide to Creative Fiction (St. Martin's Press, 1994), selected by Writers Digest as one of the best books on writing published in 1994 and since translated into Spanish and Portuguese. Her articles/essays, reviews and poems have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including Witness, Nimrod: International Journal, Bellevue Literary Review, Sonora Review, Prairie Schooner, Under the Sun, Cimarron Review, JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, San Francisco Chronicle Magazine, California Magazine, The Writer and others.

Between 1980 and 1993, she taught poetry and fiction writing at Napa Valley College, San Francisco State University and UC Berkeley Extension. While at Napa Valley College, she led workshops at the Napa Valley Writer's Conference, was the judge for the college's annual poetry competition and the faculty advisor for their literary magazine. She has spoken to numerous writing groups and at writers conferences, including the Bay Area Lawyers for the Arts, the California Writer's Conference at Asilomar and the Redwood Writer's Conference. She has also given writing workshops through Writer's Connection in Cupertino, at Lone Mountain College and privately.

Since 1984, Ms. Wall has run a writing consulting business in Berkeley, offering manuscript critique, developmental editing and publishing advice to fiction and nonfiction writers and poets. She has worked with hundreds of writers and relishes the one-on-one creative relationship with her clients. Many of them have published their books with major houses and literary and academic presses.

She received a BA in English from UC Berkeley in 1970 and a secondary credential from UC Berkeley's Graduate Internship Program in 1971, and taught high school English and creative writing for several years. In the late '70s she was an editor for a small press magazine and helped organize book events and poetry readings around the Bay Area. In 1980 she completed her MA in creative writing at San Francisco State University, where she studied with poets Stan Rice, Kathleen Fraser and Mark Linenthal. She has a daughter, son-in-law, twelve-year-old grandson and seven-year-old granddaughter. She and her partner, lawyer and political scientist Bill Barnes, can often be found cheering at little league baseball games, school band performances and gymnastic practices.

Ms. Wall is particularly interested in the intersection of literature and medicine, and continues to write essays that explore the body, voice and cultural attitudes toward illness.

Contact Dorothy Wall for writing consulting services.